Youth & Education

Education
5:01 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Billions in school funding on February ballots

Arbor Hts. Principal Christy Collins shows her schools restrooms, where the water is unsafe to drink. The school will be overhauled if Seattle's capital levy passes.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Washington voters have begun receiving ballots for a special election on February 12th, with billions of dollars for schools at stake.

Seattle Public Schools is asking voters to approve more than $1.2 billion in construction and operating funds, much of which would go toward overhauling or replacing old buildings, like the 1950s-vintage Arbor Heights Elementary in West Seattle. Principal Christy Collins recently showed off a chilly special education classroom there.

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Education
6:01 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Standoff escalates over test boycott

Teachers and their backers rallied outside district headquarters before a school board meeting.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

The standoff over a series of tests mandated by Seattle Public Schools heated up Wednesday, as another high school joined a growing boycott of the tests and district leaders threatened protesters with suspension.

Teachers say the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP tests, assess material not covered in class, give poor results and swallow up teaching time. Four schools have rebelled against the tests, with Chief Sealth High the latest to join. Superintendent Jose Banda made clear Wednesday what the consequences of that boycott could be: up to 10 days' suspension without pay.

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Education
11:08 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Idaho's Hispanic Education Gap Shrinks

Emory Maiden Flickr

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 4:36 pm

Idaho is starting to see the education gap narrow for Latino students. That's according to the state's Commission on Hispanic Affairs. Latinos are the fastest growing segment of Idaho’s school system.

The commission's director Margie Gonzalez told a legislative panel the days of double digit drop-out rates for Hispanic kids are gone. More Latinos are enrolling in college. And last month, a national assessment of vocabulary showed huge gains among Hispanic students in Idaho.

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Education
6:01 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Critics say alternative learning program raises red flags

The Alternative Learning Experience program helps students like fifth grader Gabriel Johnson get the non-traditional education he needs, but some districts have drawn scrutiny over how they administer it.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Not every student thrives in a traditional classroom, but changing technology and new research on learning mean Washington kids have more alternatives than ever. They can homeschool part-time or go to class online, even if it means enrolling in a district clear across the state. But that’s allowed a whole raft of questionable practices, and set up a dilemma for policymakers.

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Education
5:29 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Garfield High School teachers in revolt over MAP test

Garfield teachers are near-unanimous in their rejction of the MAP tests.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

The staff of a prominent Seattle high school is in full revolt over a district-mandated standardized test. Teachers at Garfield High School say the Measure of Academic Progress, or MAP test, is nothing short of a waste of time. They say it’s not aligned with state standards, it sucks up classroom time and resources, and gives shaky results. So, they voted almost unanimously to refuse to administer the test.

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Connecticut shooting
3:26 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Some Wash. schools boost security after Conn. shooting

School personnel and law enforcement around Seattle are stepping up school security in light to this Friday’s shooting in Connecticut. School officials say they know of no threats, but in an abundance of caution they’ve been taking some extra measures.

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Census data
5:54 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Seattle leads U.S. when it comes to parent volunteers

Lance Cheung USDA

Another list ranks Seattle #1.  This time the data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau and the ranking has to do with moms and dads volunteering their time.

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Education
9:18 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Seattle schools cope with crowding

Seattle Public Schools is set to add 20-38 portable classrooms like this one, located at Ingraham High School, next school year.
Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools is set to stop busing students to schools outside their neighborhood next year, but that move might cost more money than it saves. The situation dates back to Seattle's move to a system of neighborhood schools instead of district wide school choice. The district continued to give some kids rides to their old schools during the transition. 

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Education
5:07 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

King County school districts bag $40M federal grant

A pack of King County school districts has won of slice of the federal government’s Race to The Top fund, worth $40 million dollars over four years. Seven districts applied for the grant together, as the Road Map District Consortium. They said they’ll use the money to beef up preschool programs, enrich science and math learning in the primary grades, and offer training and testing subsidies to high schools.

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Education
6:00 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Should the Washington PTA be partnering with McDonald's?

McDonald's, seen here from atop the Space Needle, is linking up with the Washington state PTA.
Han Shot First Flickr

When you think healthy eating for kids, you might not picture a Happy Meal. But local McDonald’s franchises and the Washington PTA are teaming up to encourage kids to make healthy diet choices. That’s touched off controversy among some parents.

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Education
9:52 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Washington's pot law stops at the edge of campus

Colleges and universities must continue to ban marijuana, or risk losing federal funding.
dblackadder Flickr

In just a few days, smoking marijuana won’t be much different from drinking a glass of wine, as far as state law is concerned. But in what may be the place most associated with pot-smoking – the dorm room – it will still be banned.

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NPR History
10:35 am
Mon December 3, 2012

In Istanbul, A Byzantine-Era Fleet Surfaces Again

Archaeologists call an excavation site on Istanbul's southern shore the world's largest shipwreck collection. The area, unearthed during construction of a railway station, was once a Byzantine-era port that harbored cargo and military vessels, and received goods from around the Mediterranean.
Gokce Saracoglu for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:24 pm

In Istanbul, major public transit projects are back under way after years of paralysis. The problem wasn't a lack of financing, but the layer upon layer of ancient artifacts that turned up every time the earthmovers started their work.

The excavation began eight years ago on projects intended to ease Istanbul's notoriously clogged traffic.

The job included building a tunnel under the Bosphorus Strait and linking it to a rail and subway network. When the dig was stopped several years ago, eyes rolled and shoulders shrugged.

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Education
12:37 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Kitzhaber Proposes 'Education Investment' Spending Plan

Legislative Media

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 1:07 pm

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is asking state lawmakers to cap cost of living pay increases for public sector retirees. 

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Washington State University
10:45 am
Tue November 27, 2012

4th WSU student falls from building

PULLMAN, Wash. – A 19-year-old man is at least the fourth Washington State University student to fall out of a campus building this school year.

Police say alcohol likely played a role in three of the falls.

The latest incident occurred early Sunday morning, when a student who had been drinking fell from a fraternity house balcony. Griffin Healey was in a Spokane hospital with head injuries.

Education
6:00 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Seattle's science experiment: A STEM school for the early grades

Students learn engineering principles by building towers out of straws and twist-ties.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Many jobs of the future will be in fields that go by the shorthand “STEM”: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. But these are precisely the subjects where many American students are falling short. Educators are responding by creating STEM-focused schools, and in Seattle officials are breaking ground by pushing that emphasis back into younger classes, all the way to kindergarten.

Principal Shannon McKinney is in charge of figuring out how to build one of the first STEM elementary schools in the Northwest. K-5 STEM at Boren, as it’s awkwardly named, is in West Seattle, but any elementary student in the district can apply for a spot here.

As the school wraps up its first semester, McKinney and her team are still working out what a STEM education for Seattle’s youngest learners should look like.

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